\ ˈsprat How to pronounce sprat (audio) \
plural sprats also sprat

Definition of sprat

1a : a small European marine fish (Sprattus sprattus) of the herring family

called also brisling

b : any of various small or young fish (such as an anchovy) related to or resembling the herrings
2 : a young, small, or insignificant person

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Synonyms & Antonyms for sprat


bairn [chiefly Scottish], bambino, bud, chap [Southern & Midland], chick, child, cub, juvenile, kid, kiddie (also kiddy), kiddo, moppet, sprout, squirt, whelp, youngling, youngster, youth


adult, grown-up

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Examples of sprat in a Sentence

planning to spend their vacation at a couples-only resort where they would not be bothered by snotty-nosed sprats

Recent Examples on the Web

In the Baltic Sea, juvenile herring and sprat – another small herring-like fish – have more food available to them in warm years than in cool years, and have also benefited from warming. Chris Free, The Conversation, "Ocean warming has fisheries on the move, helping some but hurting more," 19 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sprat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sprat

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sprat

alteration of Middle English sprot, from Old English sprott

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Statistics for sprat

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sprat

The first known use of sprat was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for sprat



English Language Learners Definition of sprat

: a small fish that is used for food

More from Merriam-Webster on sprat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sprat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sprat

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sprat

Comments on sprat

What made you want to look up sprat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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